Solutions for Gitxsan

Another mode of governing might help resolve Gitxsan divide.


Our native friends in Hazelton, namely the Gitxsan, seem to have a problem.

We have one Queen who rules through an elected parliament.

We call that Democracy.

Imagine that we had 65 Queens and no parliament.

And that they had to rule by consensus and could appoint anybody to any committee to represent the whole nation.

That seems what is happening in the Gitxsan Territory.

The chiefs inherited their positions not based on any special skills or qualifications.

Some undoubtedly did get some education and much teaching from earlier elders.

But do they truly represent the people?

Maybe the people see other nations fighting for Democracy and they also want a more direct voice.

I would think that today there are many issues that the chiefs are not prepared for or have no experience in.

As an outsider, who thinks that more stability is needed in the area for economic improvement for the whole area, I would like to make some suggestions.

Keep your system of elder and chiefs to promote your culture and values but limit their ruling powers.

You cannot turn the clock back 200 years.

You have already adopted all the modern inventions including the methods of transportation.

Why not modify your system of government to better represent your people  within the larger concept of British Columbia and Canada.

How about a legal Society, made up of 12 people, half being elders and half ordinary people.

All positions would be elected for 3 or 4 year terms and be based on true ability.

A constitution would have to be drawn up to define and limit the powers just like in any society.

Certain things like treaties or spending over a certain amount, would still need a referendum.

Everyone should feel represented and all available money be used to everybody’s advantage.

This may be a simplistic solution . I did not mean to insult or belittle anyone, but a change is really needed.

Doug Boersema




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